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The Best Multitools of 2024

Wherever you may roam, a good multitool can get you through a variety of obstacles. That’s why we recommend you carry one everywhere! After all, there’s nothing quite like carrying a toolbox in your pocket.

Multitools on table(Photo/Josh Wussow)
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You never realize how much you need a multitool until you start carrying one. Anyone who does can tell you they find themselves using theirs all the time. Sure, there’s a little bit of eagerness when you have one in your pocket or pack. You may even find yourself seeking out things to fix or tinker with just to justify carrying a multitool around. But with so many multitools on the market today, where do you begin?

For starters, there are only a handful of brands that have consistently put out tools over the years that are easy to use, durable, and dependable. Those are Leatherman, Gerber, SOG, and Victorinox. These brands have become synonymous with the word “multitool” over the years and have been adopted by civilians, military, first responders, and anyone in between looking to be prepared for anything.

Now that we’ve got that part of the process out of the way, it’s time to figure out just what you need. And, seeing that we don’t know all of you, we’ve taken the time to test and recommend what we think would suit your needs the best. To reach our conclusions we took into account the overall build of the tool, its tool assortment, and materials, and we balanced that against ease of use and price.

In the end, we had a ton of fun. But we’re also confident in making the following recommendations because these tools got us out of a few jams that we may or may have not gotten ourselves into on purpose.

Check out the links to our favorite picks below. At the end of the list, be sure to check out our comprehensive buyer’s guide along with our helpful comparison chart.

Editor’s Note: For our February 1, 2024, update we’ve added the Leathman Arc (with 38 tools!) and the minimalist-but-mighty SOG Flash MT.

The Best Multitools of 2024


Best Overall Multitool

Leatherman Wave+

Specs

  • Number of tools 18
  • Weight 8.5 oz./241 g
  • Closed length 4"/10 cm
  • Open length 6.25"/15.87 cm
  • Width 1.2"/3.05 cm
Product Badge The Best Multitools of 2024

Pros

  • Unmatched tool selection
  • Quality construction
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Slightly heavy
  • Pocket clip not included
Best Budget Multitool

Leatherman Sidekick

Specs

  • Number of tools 14
  • Weight 7 oz./198.4 g.
  • Closed length 3.8″/9.7 cm
  • Open length 6″/15.2 cm
  • Width 1.27″/3.2 cm
The Best Multitools of 2024

Pros

  • 420HC stainless steel
  • Solid in-hand ergonomics
  • Included pocket clip
  • Same 25-year warranty as the Wave+

Cons

  • Reduced toolset
  • Lack of replaceable wire cutters
  • No swappable bit driver
Best Single-Piece Multitool

Gerber Armbar Drive

Specs

  • Number of tools 8
  • Weight 3.1 oz.
  • Overall length 6.50″
  • Width 0.7″
The Best Multitools of 2024

Pros

  • Innovative design
  • Good screwdriver
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Inconsistent QA/QC
  • Cheap steel
Best Luxury Multitool

Leatherman Arc

Specs

  • Number of tools 20
  • Weight 8.6 oz.
  • Closed length 4.25”
  • Open length 6.5”
  • Carry option Pocket clip and sheath (included)
  • Width 1.3”
The Best Multitools of 2024

Pros

  • Versatile
  • MagnaCut steel
  • One-hand operation
  • 25-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
Best Minimalist Multitool

SOG Flash MT

Specs

  • Number of Tools 7
  • Weight 4.7oz
  • Closed Length 3.75”
  • Open Length 5.38”
  • Carry Option Deep Carry Pocket Clip
  • Width 1.3”
The Best Multitools of 2024

Pros

  • Locking D2 Tool Steel Blade

Cons

  • Compound Leverage gear-drive pliers
  • Deep carry pocket clip
  • Lightweight
Best Survival Multitool

Leatherman Signal

Specs

  • Number of tools 19
  • Weight 7.5 oz/212.6 g
  • Closed length 4.5”/11.43 cm
  • Open length 6.75”/17.14 cm
  • Width 1.5”
The Best Multitools of 2024

Pros

  • Integrated carabiner and sharpener
  • Outstanding fit and finish
  • Included emergency whistle
  • Range of color choices

Cons

  • Questionable hammer/fire-starting tools
  • High price when compared to the Wave+
  • Half-serrated blade feels a little redundant
Best Keychain Multitool

Victorinox Rambler

Specs

  • Number of tools 10
  • Weight 1.1 oz.
  • Length 2.3″
  • Width 0.4″
The Best Multitools of 2024

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Classic design
  • Excellent tool selection

Cons

  • Lack of pliers
  • Too small for large tasks

Multitools Comparison Chart

MultitoolPriceNumber of toolsWeightClosed lengthOpen lengthWidth
Leatherman Wave+$120188.5 oz.4″6.25″1.2″
Leatherman Sidekick$70147 oz3.8″6″1.27″
Gerber Armbar Drive$4583.1 oz.N/A6.5″.7″
Leatherman Arc$230208.6 oz.4.25″6.5″1.3″
SOG Flash MT$7074.7 oz.3.75″5.38″1.3″
Leatherman Signal$140197.5 oz.4.5”4.5”6.75”
Victorinox Rambler$38101.1 oz.2.3″N/A0.4″

How We Tested the Best Multitools

Multitools are one of those needful things that should be part of your kit from day one. They’re so critical to your life and time in the outdoors that it would make sense for the stork to stuff one in your bassinet when they deliver you to your parents.

That said, when it comes down to multitools it’s a lifestyle thing that you end up experiencing naturally. One day, they’re in your pocket, and the next day you’re lining up all the screws on the wall plates at your parent’s house. Then you’re fixing your ski bindings, repairing your camp stove, and even performing something as simple as cutting up sausage and cheese for a trailside snack. Multitools are ubiquitous with the outdoor crowd.

This year we tapped Nick LeFort to pick out what multitools should go on this list. LeFort, who has become something of a multitool himself here at GearJunkie was given his first Swiss Army Knife when he was a kid and the idea of having a tool in his pocket stuck. He’s been carrying one multitool or another for 30 years since.

Before becoming an engineer and knifemaker himself, LeFort spent years working in a local camping store, outfitting people for their adventures. There he familiarized himself with the variety of knives and tools people needed and drew his own conclusions as to what a multitool needed to be. He’s been updating that internal notepad ever since. He wasn’t kidding when he said he was still carrying that original Leatherman Signal nine years after initially reviewing it. But he’s carried and tested many more in the time between.

The Leatherman Wave+ has earned its spot at the top; (photo/Josh Wussow)

So, How Were the Tools Tested?

With a keen sense of what works and what doesn’t on a multitool, as well as the materials and build that should be expected, we just went to work one day. Seriously. Knives and tools are those types of things best tested when being used in a real-life situation.

Speaking specifically to multitools, when you find yourself using them to dig around under your dashboard when your auxiliary lights stop working or putting together IKEA furniture with them — that’s the true test. That’s true blue authenticity.

Beyond that, our approach to testing is to make sure a product and its parts perform as expected. With marketing’s intent to sell one widget above all others, it’s easy to buy into the hype. In this case, we look at that hype and see if it’s all just talk or the real deal.

Multitools for testing
Both great multitools, the Leatherman Signal and Gerber Armbar Drive are on two different ends of the multitool spectrum; (photo/Nick LeFort)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Multitool

The last thing you need is a bloated multitool that has a bunch of tools you don’t need. Do you spend a lot of time prying and pinching? Get the tool with the best pair of pliers. Are you more focused on snipping and cutting? Leatherman offers several models with replaceable wire cutters and multiple blades.

But sometimes, things you didn’t anticipate become the most valuable. Take the eyeglass screwdriver on the Wave+. This precision instrument has seen a ton of use, serving as the perfect complement to the rest of the kit. Or how about a pocket clip? Who knew how much that could benefit you?

You want to pick the multitool with the highest number of features that you can see yourself using while considering the fact that there may be a couple of tools on there that you might not think you’ll need. It’s a balance and it’ll never be perfect unless you go into business for yourself and start making multitools. Take the Leatherman Arc ($230) for example. Yes, it has everything you need. But do you need 38 tools? Maybe you’re better off with a Sidekick ($70). In the world of multitools, more isn’t always better.

The Leatherman Wave+ and Victorinox Rambler have stood the test of time; (photo/Josh Wussow)

Materials

When shopping for a multitool, your objective should be to get the best components possible within your given budget. This is one of the places where Leatherman shines.

Though they do offer budget models with semi-questionable steels, the big names (Wave+, Sidekick, Wingman, Signal, etc.) all feature 420HC steel or better on their blades and components. With the introduction of the Arc, they’ve set the bar for other brands to meet or exceed.

That said, Victorinox doesn’t go out of the way to put a label on its metal. Over the years and through experience, we’ve come to trust in the provenance and performance of the Swiss Army’s INOX-branded steel. 

If you can help it, don’t settle for no-name “stainless steel,” especially on cheaper multitools hailing from Amazon or the big-box stores. These start with poor materials and end with slipshod construction.

By skimping with one of these purchases, you’re asking to be let down when the need for the multitool arises. Named steels and trusted brands are your friends. The bargain bin and deal-of-the-day offerings are not.

Carry

The whole idea behind a multitool is accessibility. Whether you carry it in your pocket or on your belt is a personal preference. So is if you carry it in your pack or leave it in your glove box. However you carry your pocket tool, it shouldn’t be a chore to get your hands on it and get to work.

The benefit of carrying a multitool in a belt pouch is that you’ve got a place to carry the tool itself, as well as a variety of accessories. A variety of Leatherman’s top-tier tools come with a sheath that has a slot for the Bit Kit Set as well as room for the Bit Driver Extender and even a pen. This whole kit can be taken off your belt and transferred to your pack.

In the instances where you don’t need all those extra bells and whistles, or you’re confident that the tool assortment on the multitool you’ve chosen is sufficient for your needs, nothing beats a good pocket clip or carabiner. Looking at the list above, each one of those tools, except the Victorinox Rambler and the Gerber Armbar Drive has either a pocket clip or carabiner. In the case of the Leatherman Signal, you get both. The Rambler and Armbar Drive are small enough to swim around in your pocket without weighing you down.

The Victorinox Rambler is compact enough for your keychain but still offers a useful array of tools; (photo/Josh Wussow)

Warranty

This is a vital consideration for anyone putting their multitool to its intended purpose. If you’re going to be cutting, prying, driving, and pinching with it long enough, even the best-made product can wear out. That’s where guarantees like Leatherman’s 25-year warranty come into play.

People are forever ruining the wire strippers on their Leatherman tools. And whether they’re replaceable or part of the pliers, Leatherman will take care of their customers, generally without question.

Their warranty program has inspired Gerber to extend theirs out to 25 years as well. 

We’re unsure just how long Victorinox will warranty their knives and tools, but they say that they’re good for a lifetime. I guess it all depends on how long you plan on hanging around.

Overall, as great as all of these warranties may seem — that doesn’t mean you should rely on them if you plan on using or abusing your tools outside of the realm of usual use. All three aforementioned companies have been in business for a long time. They can tell if you misused their tools and will deny a claim without even so much as a handshake.

The Leatherman Factor

You may have noticed that five of the eight multitools we’ve deemed the best are Leatherman tools. That’s because the genesis of the multitool was in 1983 when Tim Leatherman released the first Leatherman; the PST. 

Since then, the brand has continued to produce new, innovative tools that are durable and dependable. What’s more, is that it’s hard to argue with the allure of a 25-year warranty. Which, if we’re being open and honest, is generally hassle-free with minimal questions asked.

Leatherman’s impact has been so profound that “Leatherman” and “multitool” are synonymous. In fact, you’re more likely to hear someone ask what kind of Leatherman someone carries instead of what kind of multitool they carry.

By no means is Leatherman’s success and popularity a knock on any of the other brands on this list. SOG, Gerber, and Victorinox are major players in the multitool game. If they weren’t, their tools wouldn’t be on this list.

FAQ

Are multitools worth it?

Yes, absolutely. Dollar for dollar, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better bang for your buck in the world of everyday gear. While fancy pocket knives are fun, multitools offer a wealth of utility in addition to cutting power.

And if your budget allows, this is one area where you’ll be rewarded by spending a bit more. The gap in quality of materials and construction between a full-size $40 multitool and a $120 Leatherman Wave+ is vast.

What is better than a Leatherman?

That’s a tricky question. As you’ll see in the list above, the Wave+ and Arc hold prominent places on our list. Their selection, quality, and warranty pretty much cement Leatherman as king.

But if you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path, both Gerber and Victorinox make some quality offerings. The Gerber Center-Drive and Victorinox Rambler are great, though they sit at opposite sides of the spectrum.

What is the best keychain multitool?

Our current favorite is the Victorinox Rambler. Its bladeless setup makes it acceptable to take through the airport. And another editor proclaims his love for the Gerber Shard, so long as you keep it outside the pocket. 

But if you need something with a blade or just have a soft spot for the classics, the Rambler is a great option. It adds some great functionality to the iconic Victorinox keychain tool without much additional price or weight

How many blades do I need on a multitool?

As many as you can fit! But seriously, this depends on your use case. We prefer to have a mix. That’s one of the reasons the Wave+ tops our list. Its serrated blade and saw provide a wonderful complement to the plain-edge 420HC found in its main cutting tool.

But if you mostly spend your time slicing through cardboard, the single edges of the Signal may be more your speed. Or are you one of those people who tackle a lot of cordage or rope? In that case, partial serrations such as those on the Wave+ or Center-Drive will definitely come in handy.

What is the best multitool for backpacking?

The Leatherman Signal nabs the top spot when it comes to “Survival” multitools, due to the inclusion of its many outdoor-friendly features. But if overall weight is a consideration, something like the Victorinox Rambler or perhaps the Armbar would be a nice ounce-saving choice. 

This wasn’t a quick recommendation, to be honest. I went around for quite a while on whether or not the Signal was a gimmick or genuinely useful backpacking tool. And frankly, I’ve settled somewhere in the middle. The overall toolkit is wonderful, and at least half of the outdoors-focused tools (emergency whistle, sharpening system) work well, though the ferro rod and hammer are less than ideal.

But I’ve genuinely come around on the Signal, and feel that buyers would be well-served by its charms if the weight of something like the Wave+ is out of the question.

What is the best multitool sheath?

Again, it’s Leatherman. The brand’s canvas sheaths have been more or less bulletproof over several years of use, without so much as a rip or frayed seam. These ride comfortably on the belt and can be purchased in a few different configurations. Some of these go so far as to include additional space for driver extensions.

There are also several aftermarket options available, including some in leather. Gerber’s sheaths are also serviceable if the Armbar is more your speed.

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